A Historic All Veterans' Memorial:
Built by Veterans for Veterans Located in Clear Lake, Wisconsin
Visit an All Veterans' Memorial set
in the rolling peaceful countryside of Western Wisconsin. It commemorates all
veterans with ties to the Clear Lake region. Authenticity of names and dates for
each veteran is inscribed on one of five gray granite monuments. These 5 gray
stones form a circle with a Black
Cenotaph Monument in the center. On the Cenotaph are engraved the
names of 65 veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
Visitors are welcome at
this unique all Veterans' Memorial. Most Veterans' Memorials restrict their purpose
to one time period (Korea), one group (Killed in Action or KIA) or some other honor.
The Clear Lake All Veterans' Memorial does all of these honors, and adds the dimension of
inclusiveness. Starting with known names before 1861, over 1900 veterans have
been commemorated on this memorial. . The only criteria to have your name on the
Memorial is honorable service to our nation with a connective tie to Regional Clear
No rank or distinction is ordered to place your name on the
Gray Memorial, but rather the names are non-alphabetically and non-chronologically
inscribed. For example, a Civil War Alexander may be next to a
Afghanistan-Iraqi Freedom Veteran. The simplicity of this ranking allows additional
names to be added at later dates and thus maintaining the Memorial's uniqueness and
The Memorial's setting is in the Grand Army of the Republic
(GAR) parade ground within the Clear Lake cemetery. The Grand Army of the
Republic was an organization comprised of veterans of the Union Army who served in the
Civil War (1861-85). Those Union visionaries had the foresight to lay out over
15,000 square feet of choice land area in the cemetery proper. The rectangular shape
allows the Veterans' Memorial adequate space on which to be built.
fact about the Clear Lake All Veterans' Memorial is that a Pearl Harbor victim is buried
here. By noting this fact, Clear Lake Veterans' Memorial is one among the restricted
few public cemeteries in the continental United States with that distinction. On
December 7th, 1941 our nation was deliberately attacked by Japan. About 2500 men and
women were killed that day. This treacherous incident drew our nation into four long
years of war against the axis powers of Japan, Germany, and Italy.
How the Memorial was
Three thousand, three hundred square feet of granite heritage stone
blocks with donor names inscribed lead into the memorial proper. It was through the
foresight of these donors that all necessary funds were raised to build this
memorial. A black India granite tablet with 65 KIA's inscribed is the centerpiece of
this edifice and it accentuates the solemnity of the memorial proper! Complimenting
the KIA monument are 5 polished granite tablets on which are carved the names of over 1900
area men and women veterans with Clear Lake ties.
Supporting the Memorial proper are 2 American and 6 service flag
poles. Because of the Memorial's geometric shape, the flag poles help define its
shape. However, 15 stone seating benches provide additional perimeter
definition for the memorial proper. A beautiful royal blue directory provides
historic and written data as you enter the memorial. Names, dates, building facts,
etc. are arranged for easy reader access. This knowledge will help prepare a visitor
for what the Veterans' Memorial is all about.
Beyond the directory is a 15 feet high by 15 feet wide royal blue
scrolled steel archway. This beautiful masterpiece defines the memorial
entrance. Just beyond the archway is a beautifully restored Civil War
monument. Although this is an all veterans' memorial, the Civil War monument has
been placed in the memorial proper to give an historic perspective! Moving further
into the memorial proper, one walks on the granite heritage stones which cover 3300 square
feet of surface. These inscribed granites are one of the memorial's main
features. Hundreds of donor names are engraved for posterity's sake. Future
generations will have the opportunity to find the name(s) of a relative or friend, for
inscribed on these heritage blocks is a piece of history for all to see and remember.
Directions to the Memorial
The memorial is accessible
from U.S. Hwy 63 which passes through Clear Lake. Turn East on Veterans' Memorial Drive
and it is 1/2 mile on the right. Visiting hours are 7 days a week and the memorial is
lighted for evening viewing. During the winter snow season, the surface is not
cleaned to prevent possible surface damage.
Donations for the All Veterans'
The entire memorial was
built without any government grants or assistance. Community minded
patriots stepped forward when called upon and took their turn at making our dream a
reality. It was not uncommon to see 10 or more people, 70 or more years old, working
on their hands and knees. It isn't hard to sell an idea when the community supports it!
Cash donations were enlisted from all over the United
States and are still welcome.
If you wish to make a tax
deductible contribution, send your check to:
Clear Lake Veterans' Memorial
Attn: Douglas Cahow, President
Clear Lake, WI 54005
Please visit and sign our Guestbook.
And remember to thank a veteran.
The background music playing is a medly of the following songs. Click to view the
lyrics for each song.
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Added May, 2001